Studies reveal that an average individual spends 3-4 hours per day watching TV. Ever wondered why we are so attached to the idiot box? I don't know about others, but I feel mesmerized watching certain shows, especially detective shows and game shows. Also, with the passage of time, the plot lines have gone through a huge change, with so many smartly written, well-acted scripts being played on the television. This has resulted in TV viewership only seeing an upsurge today. Recording some of the best TV shows of all time sounds like a tedious and never-ending task. Even so, let's find out which of them have made it to the top.
The most popular television genres are classified as follows:
The most popular television genres are classified as follows:
Friends (1994 - 2004)
- Seasons - 10 (236 Episodes)
- Cast - Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer
- Memorable Catchphrases - "How you doin'?", "We were on a break!", and "Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you?"
Seinfeld (1989 - 1998)
- Seasons - 9 (180 Episodes)
- Cast - Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards, Jason Alexander
- MemorableCatchphrases - "Yada, yada, yada", "No soup for you", "Not that there's anything wrong with that" and "Hello, Newman"
All in the Family (1968-1979)
- Seasons - 9 (208 Episodes)
- Cast - Jean Stapleton, Carroll O'Connor, Sally Struthers, Rob Reiner, Danielle Brisebois
- Memorable Catchphrases - "Get out of my chair, Meathead!", "Stifle yourself", "I'm home, I'm home", and "Aw come on"
I Love Lucy (1951 - 1957)
- Seasons - 6 (181 Episodes)
- Cast - Lucille Ball, Vivian Vance, Keith Thibodeaux, Desi Arnaz, William Frawley
- Memorable Catchphrases - "Lucy, you've got some 'splainin' to do!" and "Lucy, I'm home"
The Andy Griffith Show (1960 - 1968)
- Seasons - 8 (249 Episodes)
- Cast - Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, Don Knotts, Frances Bavier
- Memorable Catchphrases - "Nip it in the bud", "Aw c'mon", and "Do it! Just *do* it!"
General Hospital (1963 - present)
- Seasons - 49 (12,673* Episodes)
- Cast - Maurice Benard, Steve Burton, Laura Wright, Kelly Monaco, Ingo Rademacher, Julie Marie Berman, Nancy Lee Grahn, Tyler Christopher, Jason Thompson, Rebecca Herbst
- Memorable Episodes - "Bioballs", "Carnival", "The Spencer Family Looking at Laura's Angel on the Christmas Tree" and "Karaoke"
The Young and the Restless (1973 - present)
- Seasons - 40 (10,016* Episodes)
- Cast - Doug Davidson, Kate Linder, Joshua Morrow, Peter Bergman, Sharon Case, Michelle Stafford, Melody Thomas Scott, Eric Braeden
- Memorable Episodes - "Good Goodbye" and "Good Morning Heartache"
All My Children (1970 - 2011)
- Seasons - 41 (10,712 Episodes)
- Cast - Cameron Mathison, Michael E. Knight, Susan Lucci, Jacob Young, David Canary, Thorsten Kaye, Melissa Claire Egan, Eileen Herlie, Bobbie Eakes, Alicia Minshew
- Memorable Episodes - "Nina and Cliff's Storybook Wedding", "Fusion Begins", "Erica Models at the Met", "Natalie Trapped in the Well" and "Bianca Comes Out"
Grey's Anatomy (2005 - present)
- Seasons - 9 (178 Episodes)
- Cast - Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr., Patrick Dempsey, Sara Ramirez, Eric Dane, Katherine Heigl, Justin Chambers
- Memorable Episodes - "Sanctuary", "Death and All His Friends", "It's the End of the World" and "Now or Never"
Days of our Lives (1965 - present)
- Seasons - 47 (11,943* Episodes)
- Cast - Kristian Alfonso, Blake Berris, Bryan Dattilo, Eileen Davidson, Deidre Hall, Drake Hogestyn, Lauren Koslow, Joseph Mascolo, Peggy McCay, Peter Reckell, James Reynolds, Lisa Rinna, Suzanne Rogers, Josh Taylor, Melissa Reeves
- Memorable Catchphrases - "What are you doing here?", "Sorry Bo, she's taken", "Don't jump into conclusions", "That's a fact" and "What is going on?"
Star Trek (1966 - 1969)
- Seasons - 3 (79 Episodes)
- Cast - William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley
- Memorable Episodes - "Balance Of Terror", "Space Seed", "The Devil In The Dark", and "The City On The Edge Of Forever"
Battlestar Galactica (2004 - 2009)
- Seasons - 4 (75 Episodes)
- Cast - Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, James Callis, Tricia Helfer, Grace Park, Katee Sackhoff, Michael Hogan, Aaron Douglas, Jamie Bamber
- Memorable Episodes - "Revelations", "The Hub", "The Hand of God", "Pegasus" and "Blood on the Scales"
The X-Files (1993 - 2002)
- Seasons - 9 (202 Episodes)
- Cast - David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Robert Patrick, Annabeth Gish, Mitch Pileggi
- Memorable Episodes - "The Post-Modern Prometheus", "Ice", "Pusher" and "Paper Clip"
The Twilight Zone (1959-64, 1985-89 and 2002-03)
- Seasons - 5 (156 Episodes)
- Cast - Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Vaughn Taylor, James Turley, Jack Klugman, Burgess Meredith, Jay Overholts
- Memorable Episodes - "Five Characters in Search of an Exit", "Time Enough at Last", "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" and "A Stop at Willoughby"
Babylon 5 (1994 - 1998)
- Seasons - 5 (110 Episodes)
- Cast - Jerry Doyle, Mira Furlan, Stephen Furst, Andreas Katsulas, Peter Jurasik, Bill Mumy, Bruce Boxleitner, Richard Biggs
- Memorable Episodes - "Babylon Squared", "In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum", "Movements of Fire and Shadow" and "The Deconstruction of Falling Stars"
American Idol (2002 - present)
- Seasons - 11 (438 Episodes)
- Judges - Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler
- Memorable Catchphrases - "That was amazing!", "I don't know, man", "Ok, so here's the thing" and "Not feelin' it"
America's Funniest Home Videos (1989 - present)
- Seasons - 23 (480 Episodes)
- Host - Tom Bergeron
- Memorable Catchphrases - "If you can get it on tape, you can get it in cash", "Keep those cameras safely rolling", and "That's All, Folks!"
Dancing with the Stars (2005 - present)
- Seasons - 15 (280* Episodes)
- Judges - Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman and Carrie Ann Inaba
- Memorable Catchphrases - "You were so on fire", "Sharp as a razor!", "What's going on tonight?" and "It wasn't clean."
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2003 - 2012)
- Seasons - 9 (200 Episodes)
- Crew Members - Ty Pennington, Paul DiMeo, Alle Ghadban, Paige Hemmis, Tracy Hutson, Daniel Kucan, Tanya McQueen and Michael Moloney
- Memorable Catchphrases - "Good Morning [family's name] family!", "Bus driver, move that bus!!" and "There's only one thing left to say. Welcome Home [family's name] family, welcome home."
The Apprentice (2004 - present)
- Seasons - 12 (165 Episodes)
- Judges - Donald Trump, Carolyn Kepcher, George H. Ross, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump
- Memorable Catchphrases - "You're fired!" and "Money, money, money, money, money"
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (1999 - present)
- Seasons - 14 (2151 Episodes)
- Hosts - Regis Philbin and Meredith Vieira
- Memorable Catchphrases - "Is that your final answer?", "Confident" and "I'd like to phone a friend"
Amazing Race (2001 - present)
- Seasons - 21 (239 Episodes)
- Host - Phil Keoghan
- Memorable Catchphrases - "I'm sorry to tell you, you've both been eliminated from the race", "Roadblock", "Detour" and "Pit Stop"
Minute to Win It (2010 - 2011)
- Seasons - 2 (69 Episodes)
- Host - Guy Fieri
- Memorable Catchphrases - "You've got a minute to win it, good luck", "Blueprint Bonus", and "The game begins in 3.. 2.. 1.."
Wheel of Fortune (1975 - present)
- Hosts - Pat Sajak, Vanna White, Charlie O'Donnell and Jim Thornton
- Seasons - 30 (5000 Episodes)
- Memorable Catchphrases - "I'd like to buy a vowel" and "No more spinning, just winning!"
The Price Is Right (1972 - present)
- Hosts - Drew Carey and Bob Barker
- Seasons - 41 (7500 Episodes)
- Memorable Catchphrases - "Come on Down", "The New Price is Right", "Hold my hand" and "Here's the first item up for bids"
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 - 2003)
- Seasons - 7 (144 Episodes)
- Cast - Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, Nicholas Brendon, Anthony Stewart Head, Charisma Carpenter, David Boreanaz, Marc Blucas, Seth Green, Emma Caulfield, James Marsters, Michelle Trachtenberg, Amber Benson
- Memorable Episodes - "Hush", "Once More, with Feeling" , "Chosen", "The Body" and "The Gift"
Smallville (2001 - 2011)
- Seasons - 10 (218 Episodes)
- Cast - Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Kristin Kreuk, John Glover, Erica Durance, Annette O'Toole, John Schneider, Allison Mack
- Memorable Episodes - "Pilot", "Tempest", "Red" and "Commencement"
Supernatural (2005 - present)
- Seasons - 8 (151 Episodes)
- Cast - Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki
- Memorable Episodes - "In My Time of Dying ", "What is and What Should Never Be", "All Hell Breaks Loose" and "Changing Channels"
Charmed (1998 - 2006)
- Seasons - 8 (178 Episodes)
- Cast - Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Rose Mcgowan, Brian Krause, Dorian Gregory, Julian McMahon, Drew Fuller, Kaley Cuoco, T.W. King, Greg Vaughan
- Memorable Episodes - "Forever Charmed", "Something Wicca This Way Comes", "Morality Bites" and "Long Live the Queen"
Doctor Who (2005 - present)
- Seasons - 7 (789 Episodes)
- Cast - David Tennant, Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Billie Piper, Paul Kasey, Arthur Darvill, Ruari Mears
- Memorable Catchphrases - "The Daleks' Master Plan","Mission to the Unknown", "Journey's End" and "The Eleventh Hour"
** This section involves Crime, Mystery, Action and Thrillers
Twin Peaks (1990 - 1991)
- Seasons - 2 (30 Episodes)
- Cast - Kyle MacLachlan, Sheriff Harry S. Truman, Shelly Johnson, Bobby Briggs, Benjamin Horne, Lara Flynn Boyle, Donna Hayward, Sherilyn Fenn, Audrey Horne, Warren Frost, Dr. Will Hayward, Peggy Lipton, Norma Jennings, James Marshall, James Hurley, Everett McGill, Big Ed Hurley, Jack Nance, Pete Martell, Joan Chen
- Memorable Episodes - "Fire Walk with Me", "Beyond Life And Death" and "The Path To The Black Lodge"
LOST (2004 - 2010)
- Seasons - 6 (121 Episodes)
- Cast - Jorge Garcia, Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Josh Holloway, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly
- Memorable Episodes - "Walkabout", "Through the Looking Glass", "Man of Science, Man of Faith" and "One of Us"
24 (2001 - 2010)
- Seasons - 8 (215 Episodes)
- Cast - Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard, Elisha Cuthbert, Dennis Haysbert, James Morrison
- Memorable Episodes - "Day 2: 7:00 A.M. - 8:00 A.M." and "Season 5 episode 2"
DEXTER (2006 - present)
- Seasons - 7 (74 Episodes)
- Cast - Desmond Harrington, Michael C. Hall, Lauren Vélez, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas, C.S. Lee, Julie Benz, Erik King, James Remar
- Memorable Episodes - "Sunshine and Frosty Swirl", "The Getaway", "Rita's Death", "The British Invasion" and "Hungry Man"
Naked City (1958 - 1963)
- Seasons - 4 (138 Episodes)
- Cast - John McIntire, Harry Bellaver, Paul Burke, Horace McMahon, James Franciscus
- Memorable Episodes - "Sweet Prince of Delancey Street", "Idylls of a Running Back", "Golden Lads and Girls", and "Barefoot on a Bed of Coals"
The Simpsons (1989 - present)
- Seasons - 24 (510 Episodes)
- Cast - Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Hank Azaria, Yeardley Smith, Nancy Cartwright, Harry Shearer
- Memorable Catchphrases - "Eat my shorts", "Release the Hounds!", "D'oh" and "Woo Hoo!"
Family Guy (1999 - 2002 & 2005 - present)
- Seasons - 11 (190 Episodes)
- Cast - Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis, Mike Henry
- Memorable Catchphrases - "Giggity giggity goo!", "Let's Do it! ", "I shall kill you!" and "Victory is mine!"
Batman (1992 - 1995)
- Seasons - 5 (65 Episodes)
- Cast - Rino Romano, Danielle Judovits, Evan Sabara, Alastair Duncan, Ming-Na, Steve Harris, Jesse Corti, Mitch Pileggi, Adam West
- Memorable Catchphrases - "To the Batcave!", "Good thinking, Robin", "To the BATMOBILE!" and "No time for compliments, Robin"
South Park (1997 - present)
- Seasons - 16 (231 Episodes)
- Cast - Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mona Marshall, Isaac Hayes, April Stewart, Eliza Schneider, Mary Kay Bergman
- Memorable Catchphrases - "Oh my God, they killed Kenny!", "Hey!", "Screw you guys, I'm going home", and "Respect my authori-tah!"
Tom and Jerry (1941-2005)
- Seasons - 26 (163 Episodes)
- Cast - Tom and Jerry, Spike and his son Tyke, Butch (the feral cat), Toodles Galore (the attractive female cat ), Quacker (the duckling), Clint Clobber (Tom's owner), Nibbles (Jerry's cousin), Jeannie (babysitter)
- Memorable Episodes - "Part Time Pal", "Of Feline Bondage", "The Midnight Snack", "Beach Bully" and "Professor Tom"
If the story writing is great and the cast fit in well, then without any questions or doubts, viewers will tune in to watch these shows. Compiled below are a collection of TV shows, that have or had the highest TV ratings.
- Law & Order
- Justice League
- In Living Color
- House M.D.
- Home Improvement
- Gilmore Girls
- Game of Thrones
- Freaks and Geeks
- Full House
- Dragon Ball Z
- Deal or No Deal
- Desperate Housewives
- Darkwing Duck
- Doogie Howser, M.D.
- Criminal Minds
- Band of Brothers
- Breaking Bad
- Bold and the Beautiful
- Boston Legal
- Arrested Development
- Ally McBeal
- Big Love
- Boardwalk Empire
- Courage the Cowardly Dog
- Duck Tales
- Dexter's Laboratory
- Diff'rent Strokes
- Death Note
- Everybody Loves Raymond
- Family Matters
- Friday Night Lights
- Gossip Girl
- Ghost Whisperer
- Happy Days
- How I Met Your Mother
- Homicide: Life on the Street
- I Dream of Jeannie
- Just Shoot Me!
- Late Show with David Letterman
- Married with Children
- Malcolm in the Middle
- Mad Men
- Will & Grace
- WWE Raw
- Ugly Betty
- The Muppet Show
- The Wire
- The Shield
- The Colbert Report
- The Voice
- The Mentalist
- True Blood
- The Honeymooners
- The Newlywed Game
- The Daily Show
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- The Bugs Bunny Show
- That '70s Show
- The X Factor
- The Adventures of Tintin
- The Big Bang Theory
- Shin Chan
- Six Feet Under
- Sex and the City
- Samurai Jack
- Spartacus: Vengeance
- Swat Kats
- Sponge Bob
- Remington Steele
- Prison Break
- Project Runway
- NYPD Blue
- 60 Minutes
- My Wife and Kids
- Man vs. Wild
- Modern Family
- Mr. Bean
- Pinky and the Brain
- Person of Interest
- Rescue Me
- 30 Rock
- Sunday Night Football
- Sons of Anarchy
- Small Wonder
- So You Think You Can Dance
- Saturday Night Live
- Slings and Arrows
- Stargate SG-1
- The Oprah Winfrey Show
- The Dick Van Dyke Show
- The Black Adder
- The Office
- The Flintstones
- The Road Runner Show
- The Tick
- Two and a Half Men
- The Three Stooges
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
- The O.C.
- The 4400
- The Sopranos
- The West Wing
- The Cosby Show
- Veronica Mars
- The Walking Dead
- What's My Line?
To err is human, so if you think I have missed out on any, please leave a comment and I will get that particular show added to this list.